A Chilling Clever Tale
This book came recommended, and as part of my book club, a few of us read it. It’s always fun to discuss, and to share reviews.
With The Wehr Wolf being recommended and a short read, once more I didn’t read the description. It wasn’t until I began that I saw it was set during World War 2. I wondered what the connection to werewolves would be, and of course, the way this one was spelt. All would be revealed.
I find it a thrill to read some books without knowing what it’s about, especially as the story reveals itself. I only do this if the book has either been recommended, as in this case, or the cover and title attract me. It also has to be a short read.
The Wehr Wolf is set in Germany during the war. Something sinister was going on but I didn’t know what because of the way it was written. I found it chilling as it played out. In many ways it was sad and callous too. The cruelty of people is often astounding, yet it still happens.
There are many elements to this story and different ones will resonate with readers. The one that will stick in my mind is where Uwe was locked in the cellar and thought he was alone.
Did I enjoy it? Well, I thought it was imaginative and cleverly written. The author has a great skill as a storyteller. But it wasn’t really to my taste. It made me realise I’m a romanticist and this is more of a realist story.
For that reason, I think many readers will love this book.
Germany, 1945. In the waning days of World War II, the Nazis have been all but defeated. Uwe Fuchs, never a fighter, feels fortunate to have avoided the front lines as he cared for his widowed mother.
But Uwe’s fortune changes when Hans Sauer, the village bully, recruits him to join a guerilla resistance unit preparing for the arrival of Allied soldiers. At first, Uwe is wary. The war is lost, and rumor has it that Hans is a deserter. But Hans entices him with talk of power, brutality, and their village’s ancestral lore: werewolves.
With some reluctance, Uwe joins up with the pack and soon witnesses their startling transformation. But when the men’s violent rampage against enemy soldiers takes a devastatingly personal turn, Uwe must grapple not only with his role in their evil acts but with his own humanity. Can he reclaim what this group of predatory men has stolen from him?
Or has he been a monster all along?